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Sometimes writers distance themselves from religious subjects. Religion is still taboo to speak about. Read about it instead.

Thanksgiving is a time of year when Americans culturally focus on giving thanks for the blessings in life and the abundance of food we share with each other in gratitude for those blessings. Each of us has our trials of challenges, job losses, or sicknesses. There are trials of isolation and depression unbearable for many sufferers.

Russell M. Nelson, a modern-day prophet of God, a living special witness/apostle of Jesus Christ, and the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued an opportunity, a message of hope, and a blessing and prayer for greater civility and gratitude to for the human family on November 20, 2020. Watch below, please.

Counting our blessing is far better than recounting our problems.

— Russel M. Nelson



There is no medication or surgery that can fix the spiritual woes and maladies in society, but there is a remedy--validated by scientists and people of faith:


Gratitude brings soft hearts to view in the light of appreciation. Being thankful for the meals prepared by those who cook in our homes helps them to enjoy the task at times with more than chore-like duty. Gratitude for the clean clothing caretakers prepare for the beneficiaries softens the hearts of performers of these acts of service.

In a spirit of gratitude, we discover happiness. Try it. It is impossible to feel sad while giving thanks!

Does gratitude spare us from sorrow, sadness, grief, and pain? No, but it does soothe our feelings. It provides us with a greater perspective on the very purpose and joy of life.

— Russell M. Nelson

Gratitude List

President Nelson offered a list of suggestions to give thanks for if there is nothing that comes to mind. Sometimes, our trials encumber us so much that it is difficult to see the blessings right in front of us. He suggests the following to start our list of gratitude:

  1. We can all give thanks for the beauties of the earth and the majesty of the heavens that give us an inkling of the vastness of eternity.
  2. We can give thanks for the gift of life, for our amazing bodies and minds that allow us to grow and learn.
  3. We can give thanks for art, literature, and music that nurture our souls.
  4. We can give thanks for the opportunity to repent, start over, make amends, and build character.
  5. We can give thanks for our families, friends, and loved ones.
  6. We can give thanks for the opportunity to help, cherish, and serve one another, which makes life so much more meaningful.
  7. We can even give thanks for our trials, from which we learn things we would not know otherwise.
  8. Most of all, we can give thanks unto God, the Father of our spirits, which makes us all brothers and sisters—one great global family.

The list he provided does not limit us to these things but is a start to a much longer list we will discover as we continue to give thanks past the American Holiday of Thanksgiving.

President Russell M. Nelson

First, I invite you—just for the next seven days—to turn social media

into your own personal gratitude journal. Post every day about what you

are grateful for, whom you are grateful for, and why you are grateful.

At the end of seven days, see if you feel happier and more at peace.

— Russell M. Nelson

Social Media Journal

Though he invited us to give thanks for seven days starting November 20, 2020, we can use our social media as gratitude journals throughout the year to show we appreciate the things we have in life. We do not have to be Christians to show gratitude. We need only to have hearts of thankfulness to give thanks. Whatever you are thankful for in life, share it willingly and often! There is no limit. Pay attention to how you feel after doing so for some days.

Each time we think of a trial that we face, we can also think of a blessing we have. It will NOT remove the trial or challenge, but it can change the way we endure those trials and challenges, with more hope.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on December 07, 2020:

I would like to think that we tend to give thanks every day whether we realize it or not. Most of us I have a feeling inside of us of gratitude I like to believe. It's something that is just a part of our nature and it controls how we respond to people. I am not sure if my beliefs on this matter are something that I can prove Beyond a shade of Doubt but I do believe based on the experiences that I've had with people that we tend to be thankful. Now, there are people who start arguments all the time and who always in the middle of some type of controversy. I think that those type of people are not being very thankful at the moment of that controversy. I think as a people we are thankful. I think we are more vocal about our things when we have celebrations like Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter or any religious holiday what we have to reflect on where our principals come from. Thank you so much for commenting on this article, Brinafr3sh.

I apologize if it seems a little long but I have vision problems and right when I was about to make a comment there I lost my ability to see well so that I can type. I'm using the voice recognition on my phone right now so that I can type by words. I seem to speak a lot more than I type with my fingers.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on December 05, 2020:

Brinafr3sh, one of the assignments that I was given by my counselor after I started having Depression was to think of three things that I am grateful for each day. Once I lost my ability to work outside of the home and my health declined I needed something to remind me of what in my life am I thankful for. I definitely agree with what you have written here. In fact, I think I need to think of something that I am thankful for right now because a part of my health issue is that occasionally I will lose my sight. I'm in one of those predicaments right now. I am actually using voice capture to make this comment. I think that I will have to also use the same app in order to write any articles for the future, the near future. I am so grateful Ford voice apps which make it so that I can continue to write using the pin of my tongue!

Brinafr3sh from West Coast, United States on December 04, 2020:

Hi Rodric29, that's true. And thanksgiving should be daily. It's a proven fact that individuals that are of a grateful attitude are less depressed than others. Thanks

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on November 24, 2020:

manatita, thank you for reading. I really respect and love President Nelson and the teachings that he espouses. I thank God each time I pray for being willing to listen to someone so insignificant as me and making me feel like I am worth hearing. Your words are always encouraging to me.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on November 24, 2020:

Pamela, you are so right! As a person who struggles with depression, I need to make sure I focus on the things I have in life because I naturally focus on what is wrong. I love it when my kids are grateful for something I did for them and was not expecting any thanks.

I am making desserts for Thanksgiving and my 15-year-old son asked if he could make some with me so that he could learn. I thought that he did not mean it, but he came into the kitchen and helped me do it all. We made three cheesecakes.

He then gave me a big hug and thanked me for letting him do it. I felt appreciated and loved. It wasn't my manliest moment, but I care less about the hubris than I do about the feeling my son helped me feel.

My son was trying to impress a friend he likes with that baking skill. Apparently, she likes a guy who cooks.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on November 24, 2020:

Peggy, I a grateful that you read the article and enjoyed the video. The part that touched my wife the most about the video was the prayer that he invited everyone to join him with. The entire thing motivated me to want to participate in the gratitude campaign. I love it when we can all build each other up. Society celebrates the raw and gritty so often, we forget that we need to have the kind and lovely to even out things in our lives.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on November 24, 2020:

Denise, of course, I agree with you. I have a goal to do more positive messages and gratitude writing in social media and articles. It makes people happy. I will be careful not to sound fake with my gratitude. I hope I can do that. Someone told me that she hates it when people post only positive things every day. I understand her sentiment, but I love to hear positive messages, especially if I know something is going in the opposite direction in a person's life.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on November 24, 2020:

Ann, thanks for reading and commenting. I have practiced writing three things I am grateful for each day to help with my depression that I developed since I became handicapped. It helps to do that. I notice that I think more of other people and less of my own issues, which don't seem so big afterward.

Ann Carr from SW England on November 24, 2020:

I often find that many are quick to criticise but not so quick to give thanks or recognise someone's good deed or good work. I try to do less of the former and more of the latter. It feels great to thank someone and see a smile, as well as feeling thankful for all we have.


Denise McGill from Fresno CA on November 23, 2020:

I have to agree that giving thanks is much better than counting our troubles and woes. I think it is a good idea to list all the things you are grateful for and lift others' spirits as well. Thanks for the ideas.



Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 23, 2020:

Your post was timely and wonderful to read. The video was magnificent and I would encourage everyone to listen to it. Giving thanks is something that we should do everyday. Whether it is the gift of life, family, friendships, the beauty of nature, or the vastness of the universe, and more...we have much of which to be grateful. Thank you!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 23, 2020:

I really enjoyed this article, Rodric. I agree that gratitude makes s feel better. I also think making a list of things to be grateful for is a good idea, especially if you are feeling depressed.

manatita44 from london on November 22, 2020:

A very inspirational piece Rodric and the Minister did an extremely beautiful job of Thanksgiving. Gratitude is the life-breath of the Supreme. Thank you.

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